Cranberry Lip Balm

Every year around this time The Body Shop releases their seasonal line of cranberry inspired body products. I say “inspired” because they don’t seem to have much in common with the little red berry other than the colour. I used to love the lip gloss, but once I started making all my own lip glosses and balms, I realized its overly sweet and sticky, with a rather sickly artificial fragrance. So, this year I thought I’d make my own.

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The colour comes from a liquid carmine dye from Saffire Blue, but you could also use red oxide if you don’t have the carmine liquid dye. Carmine itself isn’t oil soluble, but this liquid carmine dye is, so unfortunately you can’t use plain old carmine, but red iron oxide works really nicely. Then there’s a bit of gold or copper mica for some Christmassy shimmer. Nice.

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As for scent. Cranberries aren’t overly fragrant, and berries don’t produce essential oils, so obviously that’s not an option. So, I started thinking about what scents remind me of cranberries, and I landed on cranberry sauce pretty quickly. Orange, cinnamon, and cloves—though, sadly, orange was out thanks to photo sensitization, and cinnamon as it can be rather irritating. So I went with peppermint with a hint of cloves, bergamot (the bergaptene free version), and cardamom. It’s mostly peppermint, but with a bit of spicy, mellow depth. I love it!

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These cute little measuring spoons are perfect for measuring out things like micas.

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Cranberry Lip Balm

10g beeswax
12g virgin coconut oil
7g raw cocoa butter
19g sweet almond oil
1g Vitamin E oil

20 drops liquid carmine dye (or red oxide)
1 “smidgen” gold, copper, or bronze mica

4 drops bergaptene free bergamot essential oil
2 drops clove bud essential oil
2 drops cardamom essential oil
15 drops peppermint essential oil

Gently melt the oils together in a double boiler. Remove from the heat and stir in the carmine and mica. Let the mixture cool enough that the mica will stay in suspension (but it is still liquid). Pour into lip balm tubes (this will fill 10) and let set. Enjoy!

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Wondering where I get my ingredients? I get almost everything from New Directions Aromatics (Canada, USA, Aus, & UK) and Saffire Blue!

49 Responses to Cranberry Lip Balm

  1. Teri says:

    So pretty… do you have an etsy shop? I would love to get some of this! I, unfortunately am not that craftsy :-\

    • Marie says:

      Thanks, Teri! Sadly, I don’t have an Etsy shop : ( It’s kind of a catch-22; my blog, which generates all the demand for my products, takes up all my time. If I took the time to sell my products I wouldn’t have any time for my blog, and then the demand would dry up, haha. That said, if you can melt butter, you can make lip balm, I promise! It is definitely one of the easiest things you can make, hands down.

  2. Sophia says:

    I thought that sweet orange essential oil was one of the citrus oils that was not photosensitive. Also, isn’t bergamot photosensitive, too? Thanks for the great tutorial, I was waiting for this post since you posted the pic on your Instagram!

    • Marie says:

      You’re very correct, Sophia—that’s why I make a big deal about using “bergaptene free” bergamot essential oil in this recipe. Bergaptene is the compound that makes citrus essential oils photosensitive. You can get bergamot EO with this compound removed, but for some reason that’s the only EO they bother to take it out of (sad, I would love a lime lotion!). There is a straight-up version of bergamot that definitely is photosensitive, so be sure not to swap the two :)

      Thanks for reading & following me on Instagram! I caved and got Facebook too, haha… oh dear :P

      • Hi Marie, I just wanted to say that if you get steam distilled key lime, it is not photosensitive…at least that is the information that I have found. I get mine from NDA, as I see that you also purchase from.

        • Marie says:

          So, I just spent a bunch of time doing some more extended reading into photo-sensitivity, and it seems like nobody can agree on anything! It seems like steam distilled might be safer (cold pressed is definitely out). There was almost no agreement on some citrus EOs being more sensitizing than others/not sensitizing at all. Some sources said lime was fine, others said you should stay out of the sun for 3 days after application! I wish somebody would just do a good scientific study on this already…

  3. Michelle says:

    you are so creative!! wow

  4. Grace says:

    I love your posts so much! They are so inspiring to my creative alter ego. Unfortunately, as a mother of four girls under six, I have no money and even less time for doing this stuff. I’m hoping to be able to do this in the future with my girls and teach them to do it yourself more than simply buy it all the time. Thank you!
    Also, I would totally buy from you also, lol

    • Marie says:

      Thanks Grace! You sound like you must be superwoman with so many tiny ladies at home—whoa! Once they get older, though, I’m sure they’ll LOVE making things with their mum :) I can remember learning to make lip balm as a kid, and it was so fun and exciting. I did it with a cousin and her mum, and it was a blast. I felt like such a champ at maybe 10 years old :P

  5. Magdalen says:

    So… like a ton of your recipes, I think it looks awesome–and then I look at the list of essential oils and peppermint is at the top. Unfortunately, I’m allergic and find it to be a major skin irritant.
    I know I could just swap with whatever I wanted with this recipe, but there are some, like your headache oil, where it’s the main ingredient, and I was wondering if there would be any good all-purpose substitution? Thanks so much!

    • Marie says:

      Hmm, that’s a tricky one :( There are two reasons I’ll use peppermint in a recipe—for the scent/taste, and for the physical cooling effect. If it’s just scent/taste, you can definitely replace it with pretty much anything. Unfortunately, if it’s there for the physical cooling effect (which comes from the high menthol content), you’re kind of out of luck unless straight up menthol (which is derived from peppermint) doesn’t irritate your skin. If you’re ok with menthol, you can substitute about 1/3 the amount of menthol for peppermint. For something like the headache eraser, the peppermint contributes the majority of the cooling sensation that helps with the pain. So, without it, I’m really not sure if it would work. :(

  6. Kylee says:

    I actually read in the Essential Oils Handbook that orange is the only essential oil that is not photosensitive, at least sweet orange, that’s why it is used in so many products for brightening qualities. I’ve used it with no issues, and I’ve used bergamot, the kind that was photosensitive before, eeeeoowww irritating! Never heard of this kind that you used before, I’ll be sure to check it out!

    • Marie says:

      Hmm. I just spent a bunch of time researching the specifics of photo-sensitivity, and it seems like nobody agrees on much of anything! Some sources said orange was ok, others said you’d have to stay out of the sun for 24+ hours. There seems to be some amount of agreement on steam distilled EOs being less/not photosensitive, but the sources on that were pretty limited from what I could find. I think with my super pale skin I’ll err on the side of caution without much conclusive evidence :/

  7. Stephanie says:

    Where did you get the twist up lip chap tubes?

    • Marie says:

      If you scroll up to the big grey box with links to my suppliers, they all sell ‘em for $0.14+/tube (depending on the quantities you want to buy). I buy mine 100 at a time nowadays.

  8. Dorsey says:

    Do you know of a USA source for the liquid lip tint? I went to the site you suggested but it is going to cost me way more than the order to have it mailed. :-(
    I tried to search but only get prepared cosmetic liquid lip tints with all the garbage. I couldn’t find a source for the product to use in making your own.
    Any help would be so appreciated

  9. Melissa Overland says:

    I absolutely love your blog and all of your recipes and very creative ideas. I have tried many of your body and make up recipes and really love them. I so appreciate how you have taken chemical-filled products and have made then natural, safe and easy to make. I just wanted to say thank you, thank you, thank you. I hope you have a wonderful, joy-filled holiday season and PLEASE keep up the fantastic work.

    • Marie says:

      Thank you SO much, Melissa! This was such a wonderful comment to wake up to this morning :) Thanks so much for reading & DIYing with me—I love hearing that people are actually making my recipes! Have a happy holidays as well, and stay tuned for more awesome recipes—I’m planning into February & March now and I’m really excited about a lot of the stuff I’ll be publishing soon :D

  10. Michelle says:

    On average, how tinting are these lip tints?? I want one that will work to use more dye to produce lipstick color, and less dye for more of a tint…

    • Marie says:

      It definitely depends on how much you use, but if you want to get a lipstick colour, I probably wouldn’t choose a liquid tint as a primary colourant as they just aren’t very efficient. You need so much colour to get an opaque lipstick, and the tints have already been diluted in liquid (plus you’d need an opacifying agent like titanium dioxide or clay). I’ve been toying with the idea of making a lipstick that gets its colour from a combination of clays/oxides and a liquid tint, so you might try that. If you do want to test the upper limits of the liquid tints, be sure to reduce the amount of liquid oil in your recipe as large amounts of liquid tint will effect the final product. Have fun!

      • Michelle says:

        So, I asked this question already, but I’ve been searching for a while and I can’t find where it was… How much clay would you recommend for adding opaqueness to a recipe like this?
        I want to make a slightly to more tinted lip balm with carmine dye, red mica, and white clay. will that work? or does the clay have to be colored for it to work?

  11. Miss.Fanny says:

    Hi! If i were to use red oxide instead of the liquid carmine, how much should i use?
    do you think i should just like mix the oxide with some almond oil, and then add 20 drops of the oil/oxide mixture?

    • Marie says:

      I’d start with what I did for this lip balm, and then work your way up from there if you want a darker colour :) Do note that that recipe makes a wee bit less than this one, so you’ll get a slightly lighter colour initially. Have fun & let me know what you settle on!

  12. Alexandra says:

    Hey Marie! I have a question for you. It’s not really related to this recipe but generally about lipbalms-lipsticks. So: can use other EOs as long as I like the smell? For example can I use lavender or chamomile that I have from other projects?
    Thanks a lot! :)

    • Marie says:

      Of course! Just make sure it’s not photosensitive (the citrus EOs, mostly) or poisonous (tea tree, for example). Have fun with your lipstick/lipbalm!

  13. I just found your blog and it is fabulous! Your recipes sound so yummy! I would love to try to make some natural lip balms for my daughter who has very sensitive and very dry skin. The problem I’m having is that every recipe I find calls for shea butter or coconut oil. She is allergic to both!!! Do you have any suggestions for substitutions? I read your post about substitutions but I didn’t see a solution. Any help you can give would be appreciated. Thanks!

  14. Joy-Mari Cloete says:

    Your blog is awesome. Please tell me how many millilitres or milligrams one of these lip tube thingies hold?

    • Marie says:

      Hi Joy-Mari Cloete! Lip balm tubes typically hold 4.5g of product, but that can vary depending on the tube, so check the package of the ones you buy :)

  15. Estefanía says:

    Hi Marie!

    I fell in love with your site, everything you do with natural ingredients is awesome.

    I´m getting involve in making lip balms and I have a big doubt.
    The measures of the ingredients you give in the recipes of the lip balms you measure them when they are melted or solid? I mean, when you write 10 gr of beeswax , you mean 10 gr of melted beeswax or 10 gr of solid beeswax; sorry for this dumb question, hope you answer me.

    Thanks for the time and I really love everything, i definitely will start doing more that just lip balms! :)

    • Marie says:

      Hi Estefanía! Thanks so much for reading :) The brilliant thing about measuring things by weight is that it doesn’t matter if they are liquid or solid. I like to measure everything as solids into one pan and then melt it all together, it’s very easy and makes for the easiest clean up.

  16. JT says:

    Hi Marie,
    Thank you for sharing all your wonderful DIY recipes with us! Just wondering if you have ever tried ‘tinting’ your lip products with Acai powder? I have tried beetroot powder before and as you know, it just becomes a gooey mess, so just wondering if acai will have the same effect?
    Your experience (if any) on this would be greatly appreciated :D

    • Marie says:

      Hi JT! I haven’t tried acai powder, but in my experience all botanical powders are water soluble, just like the beetroot powder, meaning they make a poor addition to oil-based products. You may be able to tint the oil and strain out the solids, though :) Haven’t tried that yet, but it’s on the list!

  17. KD Dunbar says:

    For those who want a vegetarian version, you can use beet powder for the coloring agent. You have to strain out the beet solids after warming the beet root powder in the oils/waxes.

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